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URMC / Strong Memorial Hospital / Friends of Strong / The Best of Friends Blog / November 2021 / Friends of Strong Welcomes New Volunteer Program Manager

Friends of Strong Welcomes New Volunteer Program Manager

Karen Keating, Volunteer Program ManagerA familiar face to our volunteers throughout the past four years, Karen Keating is our newly appointed Volunteer Program Manager, overseeing many new beginnings and enhancements to our volunteer program.

Karen started working with the University in 2003, primarily in insurance verification and financial counseling roles, and first joined the Friends of Strong team as one of our talented volunteer program secretaries in 2017. She began serving as our interim volunteer program manager when her predecessor, Joyce Stadtmiller, embarked on a much-earned retirement in September 2020.

Karen has quickly acclimated to her new role, working with the entire Friends of Strong team and collaborating with our partner departments to develop new methods to recruit and engage volunteers utilizing new technologies, such as Zoom, MyPath, Sign Up Genius, and other online platforms.

“I am very excited for this next chapter,” she says. “From our volunteers, to our colleagues all across the Med Center, I feel very lucky to be a part of Friends of Strong and to work with such amazing people.”

While serving as interim program manager throughout much of the pandemic, Karen took on many of these new responsibilities and enhancements with the assistance of fellow Volunteer Program Secretary Nance Lazarek, who also remains instrumental to our successful restart throughout the many challenges of this ever-evolving pandemic.

Together, they’ve worked tirelessly to support our volunteers; keeping in touch via email updates and surveys to gage interest in special volunteer needs as they arise, as well as onboarding more than 130 volunteers to support our Primary Care vaccination clinics in record time.

For these reasons, and many more, Nance is also moving up within Friends of Strong, from Time-As-Reported (TAR), to a Part Time Secretary IV position which will enable an expansion of her work in support of our entire team.

“Nance’s positive attitude and constant flexibility, together with Karen’s steadfast dedication to our volunteer program, are an incredible blessing for our team,” says Sandy Arbasak, director of Friends of Strong. “We are thrilled that both of them have chosen to step up to the challenges of these important roles which are new to each of them.”

Karen, Nance and Friends of Strong will soon be joined by our new volunteer program assistant Cory Dagen, who comes to us from Advancement and Alumni Relations, where she’s served as the associate director of regional and volunteer programs since 2017. Cory is also a graduate of the University of Rochester, and brings with her a plethora of experience working with volunteers in a variety of capacities.

Please join us in congratulating Karen and Nance on their new roles, and welcoming Cory to the Friends of Strong team when you see them.


Matt Ulakovic | 11/9/2021

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